KAMPALA, Uganda | Real Muloodi News | The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs put officials from the Inspectorate of Government (IG) on the defensive this week over what they termed as conflict of interest in the investigation and prosecution of embattled Uganda Land Commission boss, Hon Beatrice Byenkya.
Byenkya is on trial for allegedly obstructing investigators from the Inspectorate who were probing her for abuse of office.
But on January 17, 2022, legislators on the Committee described the charges as a witch-hunt, stemming from Byenkya’s deep rivalry with Inspector General of Government (IGG), Hon Betty Kamya.
“There are allegations that you are fighting personal wars; she [Ms Kamya] was a supervisor of the Uganda Land Commission Chairperson and they had fundamental differences; as an Ombudsman, you should never find yourselves in such circumstances,” said MP Fox Oywelowo Odoi (NRM, West Budama North-East).
For MP Asuman Basalirwa (Jeema, Bugiri Municipality), the top challenge faced by the IGG is lack of interest in pursuing matters relating to advocating for the rule of law, which he said is one of their chief mandates.
“I need to know why the IGG has consistently shied away from matters of rule of law and the conduct of security officers which is in public domain; fighting corruption is not the only mandate of the IGG,” he said.
He also questioned whether Kamya personally called for the indictment of Byenkya. “Who particularly sanctioned the investigation and prosecution of the Chairperson of the Uganda Lands Commission?” MP Basalirwa asked.
Shadow Attorney General, Hon Wilfred Niwagaba said Byenkya is being persectuted. “It cannot be a genuine prosecution but a mere persecution,” he said.
However, the Deputy IGG, Ms Anne Muhairwe, refuted allegations that her boss was personally behind Byenkya’s woes. Muhairwe, who led the team of the IG before Parliament’s Committee, said there is no ill-intention in the prosecution of Byenkya, and said the sole intention of the IG is to deal with land-related fraud.
“Yes in the past they have had a misunderstanding with Hon. Kamya but Hon Kamya is not involved in this matter. Even when this investigation started, she was out of the country. When I was planning to brief her about what had been happening, she lost a mother,” Muhairwe clarified.
“Hon. Byenkya is not here, Hon. Kamya is not here, but given that I am the one who sanctioned Hon. Byenkya’s file, I want it on record that Hon Kamya is not involved in this matter whatsoever,” she added.
Despite Muhairwe’s assurances, the following day January 18th, it was reported that Kamya refused to back down, and sent out yet another a directive to the Minister of Lands and Urban Development Hon Judith Nabakooba to cause the interdiction of Byenkya.
“Preliminary investigations into the Uganda Land Commission…provide sufficient ground for the Inspectorate of Government to continue with the investigations to their logical conclusion. It is therefore necessary that Hon Beatrice Byenkya… steps aside so that she is not able to interfere with the investigations,” Kamya reportedly wrote to Minister Nabakooba.
“You are therefore directed/ordered as the Supervising Minister to interdict or cause the interdiction of Hon Beatrice Byekya from the duties of Chairperson Uganda Land Commission.”
READ MORE LIKE THIS: